Big Fat Gypsy bust-up

Leyland Hotel
Leyland Hotel

You’ve heard of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

However the popular TV documentary about gypsies and travellers in Britain had none of the drama of a real-life traveller wedding reception in Leyland.

Police were called to a wedding reception at the Best Western Leyland Hotel last week after they received a report of up to 40 people being involved in a ‘disturbance’.

One eyewitness spoke of a ‘volatile’ and ‘threatening’ situation’ involving a group of revellers in the car park.

Police were called to restore order and stayed on the scene for nearly 90 minutes until calm had returned.

Officers say after speaking to managers at the hotel they agreed to shut down the event and turn off the music after the incident, just after 1am. But managers at the hotel say the event finished at 1am and guests were already starting to vacate the premises when a family argument broke out.

Fergus MacDonald, general manager at the hotel said: “There were only two people involved in the incident, but there may have been others standing around.

“It was just a normal, busy wedding as far as we were concerned.

“There was no trouble up until that point.

“The function finished at 1am and people started to vacate the premises. “It was a busy evening. We do 400 a night in the middle of our Christmas season so to have 200 people in the hotel that evening was nothing unusual. “It was a family argument, which can happen at any wedding.

“It was a lovely wedding and the room looked stunning. There was no trouble at all before.

“To us it was just a normal wedding and we treated the bridal party with the same respect as we would anybody.

“It happened in the car park. There was 130 cars in the car park so it was full, that would be with residential guests at the hotel, not just guests from the wedding.”

Police say the incident, which happened on Thursday, November 24, was brought under control by 2.30am and no arrests were made.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “We were called to an incident on Thursday after reports a number of people were causing a bit of a bother at a wedding reception.

“We have attended and managed to calm the situation down and eventually guests that weren’t staying at the hotel have left in dribs and drabs. “A number of police officers and vehicles were involved.”